Posted by: Jeff Timmins | December 9, 2010

Favorite Flavors of Release Management

Taking a look at the various flavors of Release Management …

Release Management as a Release Engineer

Bob Aiello does a great job of breaking down the roles and responsibilities of what I would call Configuration Management/Release Engineering (CM/RE) in his 08/17/2010 Blog on CM Crossroads titled Behaviorally Speaking – Release Management Essentials.  He details the characteristics of the CM/RE role as

  1. Streamlining the build, release and deploy process via as much automation as possible
  2. Keeping track & detailing build versions
  3. Controlling change in source control
  4. Support developers make the software development lifecycle as fast and reliable as possible – i.e. making them more effective while enforcing IT Controls
  5. Controlling change in QA & Production environments
  6. Tracking change authorization.

Please see his Blog for more details.

Release Management for Open Source

On his Blog site Seeing the fnords, Thierry Carrez describes the responsibilities of a Open Source Project Release Manager (OSRM) in his post The art of release management.  Being the Release Manager for the Openstack project at Rackspace I’m sure he knows a few things about Releasing code.  Thierry details the work of an OSRM as

  1. Distribution work – packaging and delivering various open source software components into distribution
  2. Upstream work – actual development of the software
  3. Manage the Release process & Release cycle (Design, Development, QA and Release)
  4. Other duties like making sure developers have everything they need to work at their full potential, that the project is transparent & that the developer community is a welcoming environment for prospective new contributors.

For more details please see his blog entry listed above.

ITIL Release Manager

From the ITIL Library Open Guild on Release Management, the basics of Release Management are as follows:

  1. Conduct release planning
  2. Coordinate design, building and configuring of releases
  3. Coordinate release acceptance
  4. Conduct rollout planning
  5. Coordinate release communications, preparations and training activities
  6. Coordinate distribution and installation of releases
  7. Provide management information about Release Management quality and operations

Release Manager for the Cloud Solutions

For Release code into the Cloud, these are the main points that I feel are important to ensure that the planned value gets to the end customer.  Note that the Cloud is just one of many delivery methods for Solutions (or what is traditionally called software) but everything is “Cloud” these days so I’ll continue riding the bandwagon.

  1. Represent Operations in the Development process
  2. Coordinate release acceptance from Engineering, providing checks and balances as needed
  3. Conduct deployment planning & implementation
  4. Facilitate Release issues, information and training activities with cross-functional internal groups
  5. Track & communicate Release related information for internal and external customers
  6. Communicate Release information to upper management in non-technical method

The common thread in all

Each of the above Release Management roles are important to the function of their particular organization and have a number of common threads that give reason to using the same term.  For all, RM is about effective & efficient processes and communication and ensuring the code will be successfully deployed to the customer.

Comments are welcome.

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Responses

  1. […] Might not look like it but every company does RM Over the last 6 months I’ve been talking with a lot of companies about their Release Management roles and I’ve found that everyone has a slightly different take on it.  I find this interesting because I would have guessed that RM would be more standardized.  Then again I shouldn’t be surprised by a role that doesn’t have a solid definition in the Computer Industry. […]

  2. I like the valuable info you provide for your articles.
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